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Monday, December 28, 2009

Stolen Movies yet all time high box office dollars

Record Box Office, Record Online Theft

One way to look at it is that there’s good news and there’s bad news.  On the positive side, theatrical box office is up nicely, hitting record levels, though increased ticket prices are playing a big part.

Unfortunately, all the increases in ticket dollars are not making up for the theft of product online. With higher and higher broadband speeds, the theft problem is growing, and now threatens our business just as it trashed the music business.

Star Trek was said to be the most often stolen movie of 2009, illegally downloaded 11 million times.
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Below are Editors Notes- Art Lynch,

Biggest year, biggest Holiday Season and Biggest Christmas Weekend on record.

The holiday box office has continued the trend set for the year, breaking all time Thanksgiving to Christmas records. Variety reports  that boosted by "Avitar', "The Chipmonks Squakquil" and a different breed of "Shirlock Holmes", Christmas weekend also hit an all time box office dollar high, exceeding $280 million domestic (the last record weekend was led by "Batman: The Dark Knight" in July 2008). Domestic box office for the year topped ten billion dollars prior to Christmas week. Prior to Thanksgiving the trend was set and results guarenteed, despite the recession.

3D, at premium prices and advance ticket purchase, along with Omnimax and 3D Ominmax, have driven up average ticket prices. Theaters that have gone digital are having to raise all prices to recoup the investment. So box office records are really apples to oranges, or so it may seem.

This is in keeping with the pattern set in the Great Depression. A key difference is that with diversification of motions picture companies, as part of television, DVD, Internet, Cable, Theme Park and other interests, profits at the box office do not mean a healthy environment overall. Another key difference is that box office is now couted in dollars ($10 to $20 ticket prices) where in the Depression it was counted in bodies in seats (5 cents to fifty cents- some with usher exact seating). Our population has grown many times fold, as has ticket prices, even with inflation factored in. So is this really the largest box office in history? Or have things changed so much that there is no longer a common measuring tape?

And what about the rapidly growing Internet effect?

Ten years in icons and words

If you are looking back at the last ten years, you may wish to refresh your memory or comment on the chart provided by Phillip Niemeyer of the New York Times, "Picturing the Past Ten Years."
Just a few from the list and added by yours truely, Art Lynch:


War on Terror

Boom economy

Housing bubble

Henderson as the fastest growing city in the country.

North Las Vegas as the fastest growing city in the country.

Las Vegas as the fastest growing city in the country.

Las Vegas as the only city that has not seen housing values inch up in 2009.


Chapter 13.

Chapter 7.

Quick sale.

The dot com crash of 2001

Airports changing forever (remember being able to see your friends off or meet them at the gate?)

The beard craze of 2006.

Flipping homes before the crash.

Google as a verb.

In 2000 Starbucks popularized Lattes.

Will Carry marry Mr. Big?

The 2001 birth of Wikipedia (according to Wikipedia).


Avian Flu.

Swine Flu.

Dale Earnhardt (Sr. and Jr), Michael Phelps, Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Andre Agassi, Mia Hamm, Shaq or Kobe.


Camera phones.

Smart phones.


American Idol (2002).

Reality TV

John McCain for President (twice)

Glitz, chatter, surge, hpe, news cylcle as NOUNS.

IM, text, Tweet, network, download, de-friend, go rogue, blog, Google, Swift Vote, punk'd, crowd-source as VERBS.

Apple, Microsoft, Vista, Windows 7, Opera as products to watch.

Cable news wars.

Real wars.

Weapons of Mass Dictruction.

What would you add as icons and happenings for the first ten years of the new millennium.

Professor Barbara Cloud

Barbara Cloud is no longer with us. Micheal Toole reports her passing on Christmas Eva (no confirmation). When I came to Las Vegas as a news director she helped set up internships, and later was a journalism instructor for my wife Laura. A champion of journalism here and internationally, if it is true, one of the shining beacons of balanced journalilsm has left us.

Dec. 29, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

UNLV journalism professor dies

Cloud, 71, was reporter, joined university in 1979

Barbara Cloud, a longtime journalism professor at UNLV, has died. She was 71.

Cloud was a professor emeritus at the university, having served there since 1979. She was the associate provost for academic affairs from 1998 to 2003. She specialized in journalism history.

Her husband, Stan Cloud, also 71, was a physics professor at the university. He said his wife suffered a cerebral hemorrhage last week and died on Christmas Eve.

"Barbara's greatest pleasures were travel, history and writing," he said.

The two had been married for 49 years. They met when she was a student at Stanford University.
Longtime University of Nevada, Las Vegas journalism professor Mary Hausch said Barbara Cloud recruited her to the university.

"I owe her my career," said Hausch, who joined UNLV nearly 20 years ago after serving as an editor at the Review-Journal.

She said Cloud was a dedicated educator but occasionally could show a little flash. She bought a Corvette when she was in her 60s.

"People considered her a conservative sort of person; she was very quiet and reserved," Hausch said. "But the Corvette showed another side of her personality."

Before joining UNLV, Cloud was a reporter at newspapers in Oregon and in Idaho, where she grew up.
She was a freelance journalist in Los Angeles and a public relations consultant.

She published several books, served as president of the American Journalism History Association and received several awards for her work.

Cloud had been president of the UNLV Phi Kappa Phi honorary society and was key to the establishment of the Kappa Tau Alpha chapter.

She was teaching a class on women and the media and researching a biography of "Pop" Squires, a Las Vegas newspaper pioneer, when she died.

She is survived by her husband and her sister, Laura McMurray of Yakima, Wash.

A memorial is planned for the UNLV campus but has not yet been scheduled.

Donations may be made in her memory to Three Square food bank, Nevada Humanities or the UNLV Women's Studies Program.

Contact reporter Richard Lake at or 702-383-0307.